“We have nine cases in one school in the Springboro School system and so we’ve been working with them,” Duane Stansburg said. “We’ve been working with them to help get information out to parents to tell them what to look for and how to protect themselves and family and going to see their doctor if they think their child is coming down with pertussis.”
Pertussis (whooping cough) is a potentially life-threatening childhood illness that all but disappeared in the 1940s after a vaccine was developed. In recent decades, the illness has made a comeback, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The illness starts with cold symptoms (runny nose, mild cough, low-grade fever, sneezing.) Within several days, the cough becomes more severe and can be characterized by episodes of numerous rapid coughs, followed by a crowing or high pitched “whoop.”
“It could even mimic the flu-like symptoms. As it progresses, that whooping sound is when you know that it is whooping cough. That’s the major sign that distinguished it from other types of nasal flus,” Stansburg said.
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The Health Department encourages all students who haven’t received a whooping cough booster to get one immediately.
Along with the vaccination, health officials say hand washing and good health hygiene are the best ways to prevent it.
The Warren County Health Department is recommending that parents and guardians monitor their children for prolonged coughing that should be evaluated by a physician. They’re urging students who have or have signs of the highly contagious respiratory infection caused by bacteria to stay home for a minimum of five days.
For further information, contact the Warren County Health Department at 513-695-2097.